Not quite duplicate content: How to republish existing content the right way

Stretch your truth

You spend hours crafting the perfect piece of blog content. You research, write, revise and edit until your post is value-packed and full of useful take-aways, heart and soul. You finally feel satisfied, hit publish, and then … crickets.

Your perfect piece of content is out in the world, but no one sees it. It gets pushed into your archives to collect dust and get lost in the deep void of the internet. This situation is a nightmare, but an all too real nightmare, for many marketers and bloggers.

So, if you have gone through it or are going through it right now, here is a way to shake this bad dream and get your work the exposure it deserves through republishing content.

Duplicate Content Film

What is republishing content?

Republishing content is smart way to get the most out of the work you’ve already done. You take a piece of content that you have already published and reuse it by posting it as a new blog post. There are two ways you can do this.

  1. You can republish an old blog post on another website.
  2. You can republish an old blog post on your website.
Republishing content allows you to breath new life into an old post, maximize your resources, and work smarter.


So why aren’t more people doing this?

The false connection between republishing and duplicate content

Many people associate republishing content with duplicate content, and therefore see it as a bad idea and don’t do it.

Duplicate content refers to posting the same content on more than one web page. The content is exactly the same except that it is on a different URL. This is often seen as an SEO no-no because Google may penalize websites for posting duplicate content. Duplicate content and republishing sound very similar so it’s easy to see why people would make this association.

But — and this is a big but — Matt Cutts of Google has said:

“I wouldn’t stress about this unless the content that you have duplicated is spammy or keyword stuffing.”

Google doesn’t like spam, and their duplicate content rule is set up to catch sites that swipe, steal, and republish content from other sites in hopes of cheating the system and improving their SEO.

Google is fine with republishing content when it’s done ethically and with the right intention.


In fact, they even offer tips and best practices so bloggers can republish content. So, don’t shy away from using this technique that will maximize your efforts and get more eyes on your content. Use these best practices and you’ll stay in Google’s good graces while maximizing your marketing.

How to republish your content on other websites

Many bloggers and marketers know that guest posting is a great way to expand your reach and connect with a new audience. But they fail to use this tactic because they can’t keep up with the demands of creating new, fresh content for their guest posts.

Republishing solves this problem because it allows you to pull from the content you already have to use as your guests posts.

To republish an old blog on another website:

1. Look for publications in your industry that accept republished posts.

Before you approach a publisher, make sure they accept republished articles. Not all publishers accept republished posts so find out before you pitch to save yourself time. This resource from SumoMe includes a list of dozens of high-authority blogs that accept republished content.

2. Build a relationship with original content.

When you first build relationships with editors and publishers, don’t start by pitching republished content. Offer them original content for your first story. Then, once you have established a relationship, start pitching republished stories.

3. Tweak the post for the publication.

Revisit your content before you send it to the new publisher. Make sure the post matches their audience and vibe and meets their publisher requirements.

4. Change the headline on the published post.

This slightly differentiates your content from the original.

5. Ask the publisher to use a canonical tag.

A canonical tag is HTML markup that points back to the original URL and tells search engines that the new post is a republished version of the original. This is the markup Google created to resolve duplicate content issues. If you are republishing on a high-authority site, it’s likely that they add this tag as part of their process without you needing to ask.

How to republish your content on your website

If you have great old blog posts in your archives, you can also republish these older blog posts to make them appear fresh and new. Don’t let your awesome content go to waste. Bring them out of the shadows and keep your blog fresh by reusing these older posts.

To republish an old blog on your website:

1. Choose an old post.

Find a blog post that is old enough that your readers won’t feel cheated by seeing the post so soon after the original publication.

2. Refresh the post.

See how you can add to the post to dive deeper into the topic. Also, spend some time revising it to make sure all information is timely and still relevant.

3. Keep the same URL.

This is extremely important. The search engines already know that your post exists. Don’t confuse them by changing the URL. This will remove any SEO juice the post has. When republishing a post on your blog, do not change the URL structure.

4. Change the publish date.

To republish, simply change the publish date. If you have a date-sorted blog page, this will push the post to the front and make it look like a new post. Your audience will have something fresh to read, and you will get new post without all of the work of writing something completely new.

So stop letting your great blog posts go to waste in the back of your blog where no one reads it. If you follow the steps above, you won’t have to worry about getting dinged for duplicate content. Use these republishing tips to work smarter, not harder, and get more of your existing content library.

Looking for more ways to up your blogging game? Find out what other mistakes you might be making on your blog by reading “Six blogging blunders that will scare people off your site.”

Image by: AhmadHammoud via / CC BY